Topic ID #13456 - posted 8/24/2011 4:00 AM

Ötzi the Iceman Murdered on a Full Stomach

Jennifer Palmer

Ötzi the Iceman Murdered on a Full Stomach
    By Brandon Keim August 23, 2011  | Categories: Anthropology

A fresh analysis of Ötzi the Iceman’s stomach suggests a grisly new climax to the world’s most famous prehistory murder mystery: death by ambush, a surprise killing in the afterglow of a big meal.

Ötzi was found in 1991, frozen and fantastically preserved in ice high in the Italian Alps, where he’d perished 5,300 years ago. With his tattoos and cool tools and smart outfit, rendered by artists with soulful brown eyes under a weathered brow, he became a Copper Age celebrity. Public and scientific imagination seized on the circumstances of his life — and, of course, his death.

At first, Ötzi was thought to have frozen to death, trapped by snowstorm on a mountainside. Another possibility was ritual sacrifice. But in 2001, researchers discovered an arrow in his left shoulder, bruises and cuts on his hands and chest, signs of blunt force trauma to his head. Ötzi, it appeared, was the victim of foul play.

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